The West need to prepare for ‘long cold war’ as UK warned against slashing defence budget


    The Ukrainian counter-offensive has advanced significantly to reclaim key territories formerly occupied by the Kremlin’s military. While Russian forces appear to be operating on the “back foot,” NATO has been warned against underestimating the ongoing threat of a Kremlin attack against the West. Sir Richard Shirreff, who has a distinguished career in the British Army and now acts as a conflict analyst, claimed the West should prepare for a “long cold war” with Russia.

    Speaking on Times Radio, Sir Shirreff warned: “I think we have got to be very careful about assuming, because the Russian’s are on the back foot now, are exhausted and have taken such heavy losses, that they no longer pose a threat.

    “We have to understand, we are in for a long war here.

    “A long war, not necessarily a long shooting war, but a long war of deterrence.”

    The news comes after President Putin made renewed threats of nuclear attack against NATO allies of Ukraine.

    The retired senior British Army officer continued: “If the Russians are on the back foot, if we ease up, be under no illusions that a new leader could well emerge, harder line, more ultranationalist, and they will come back again. 

    “The aim, the intent, to reestablish a Russian empire has not and will not go away.

    “That means that we need to be prepared – we in the West, we in NATO, need to be prepared for a long war of deterrence, a long cold war.

    “That means significant defence spending.”

    Read more: Ex-general warns UK must face possibility of NATO war with Putin

    Prime Minister Liz Truss has pledged to match or exceed the £2.3 billion in military aid to Ukraine throughout the 2023 year as Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion persists.

    The current UK defence budget is roughly £48 billion, although Liz Truss has expanded on her predecessor’s commitment to increase armed forces spending. 

    Defence Secretary Ben Wallace reported the military spending budget will be doubled to reach £100 billion in 2030, under the Tory Government’s commitment to increase defence spending to three percent GDP.

    The Cabinet Minister told the Sunday Telegraph it was “highly likely” that the size of the army would grow and there would be greater investment into new military technologies.

    The increased spending announcement comes as the UK is in the midst of an intense economic crisis which has forced the Government to increase borrowing in order to offset the rising cost of living.

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